To be available at 3G prices, the 4G service for smartphones by Airtel operates on 2300 MHz frequency band, so only one officially available Android smartphone – XOLO LT900 can use the service. Among other OS phones, it will work on iPhone 5S and 5C.
“We expect more devices will soon come enabled for this band. China has just allocated 4G spectrum in the 2300 MHz band to its operators, so there should be a lot more manufacturing of such devices,” Srini Gopalan, director of consumer business in Bharti Airtel India, said in a statement.
It is important to note here that Airtel is only providing data services via 4G as a part of this service, so calling and SMS services will still be using 3G or 2G network (via circuit switch fallback technology).
Airtel consumers planning to use this service will need a new SIM card, which will be available at the company stores. The telecom operator has also introduced a new 4G plan for heavy users, which will provide 10GB of 4G data for INR 1,000.
There is no exact word on when the service will be released in other cities but Airtel has promised that it plans to take 4G for smartphones to more cities soon.